Tuesday, June 05, 2007

At the movies

Trillian and I have always lived a somewhat quiet lifestyle. Not many parties, late nights, fancy restaurants, etc. Some spontaneity, but we agreed that having a child would not require us to give up anything we would sorely miss. Our biggest sacrifice, I joked, would be going to the movies on a whim.

Which has turned out to be fairly prescient. We weren't frequent movie-goers even before Scooter, but it was something we tended to do spur-of-the-moment. Nowadays, the need to plan, find a babysitter, and then pay many dollars an hour tend to limit such outings.* So when we see movies in the theater, it tends to mean one of three things:
  1. Grandma and Grandpa are around (here or at their house) and have insisted we get out for a bit.
  2. Scooter's in daycare when we find ourselves with shared time off.
  3. We've split showings. Sometimes it's back-to-back showings, sometimes it's two days in a row.
The problem with #1 is that we can't be sure a movie we really want to see will be playing. But at least it's some time out--plus the grandparents don't mind if we hang out a bit before or after.

#2 is very nice when things align, especially if those 'things' include a movie we want to see. That worked for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. We were sharing the theater with a large number of school groups, but they were fine once the movie started. This summer, however, this plan will rarely work for us. I teach four afternoons a week; on the one afternoon I do have off, I take Scooter to OT. Now if a theater wanted to show movies at 10 am during the week, we'd be there!

Strategy #3 is employed for those movies we really want to see. And cannot stand to wait until #1 or #2 can be worked out or until it comes out on DVD. Sure we don't have the experience of sitting together and exchanging glances or whispers (very quiet, I promise). And whoever sees it first has to keep quiet about it for a bit; even harder, she then has to remember what she wanted to say. But these are movies that need to be seen in the theater.

The first movie we saw this way (I think) was Return of the King. We had seen the other two in the theater--I even sat through all of The Two Towers in my third trimester without getting up for the bathroom once! We each went back to the same theater for the third movie--gorgeous old theater, excellent view from the balcony--on a Saturday and a Sunday.

Another movie we did this way was Serenity. Firefly had been our favorite series when it was on and we lamented its early cancellation. We have it on DVD, but with only 13 episodes we were dying for more from Mal and his band. Plus, the buzz online was that a good enough early showing might bring about funding for another movie. Because of the timing of other things, Trillian took the 7 pm showing, I got the 9:30 showing. Needed an extra latte to make sure I was awake from the beginning, but once it started there was no chance I'd fall asleep. Very disappointed that it's unlikely there will be another.

This past weekend, we did the closest thing possible to a spontaneous trip to the movies: we decided, on that very day, that we would take in back-to-back showings of Knocked Up. It was a good choice and we both enjoyed ourselves immensely. A little alone mommy-time for each of us and fodder for discussion and laughs afterwards.

So maybe it's not quite the same as before Scooter, but it definitely works.

* We have done this, most notably for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. One of my students was our regular babysitter then (not something I usually would have done, but we started using her before she was in one of my classes, because Trillian met her through a team I coached and fully approved of her). I felt a little silly telling my student what we were going to see--but she liked the series too.


bubandpie said...

We took Bub with us to the theatre to see Return of the King. He was six weeks old, it was a matinee, and when necessary I breastfed (in the theatre) to get him through it. Basically, he slept the whole time, mostly with a folded-up receiving blanket muffling his exposed ear. Good times.

I also took him with me to Prisoner of Azkaban, but that was at a Stars 'n' Strollers screening, so it wasn't quite as stressful.

metro mama said...

I actually like going to movies alone.

Did you like Knocked Up? I'm hearing good things about it.

Mouse said...

When Scooter was very young, the only Moms and Tots sort of theater program in our area wasn't very close, so we didn't end up doing that ever.

I've come to appreciate going to movies alone--a little me-time. Plus, I only go to movies I really want to see, so I generally would be too engaged to interact with Trillian anyway.

BTW, I thought the Knocked Up was great! I've heard some people take issue with the treatment of abortion and the female characters, but I didn't interpret those issues in the same way. And I find it laughable that Eckler is trying to suggest the plot must come from her book (because nobody's ever gotten drunk and had an unplanned pregnancy result...)!

metro mama said...

Yes, the Eckler thing's hilarious, isn't it!

Vikki said...

We've given up movies for the most part and now rely on Netflix. We save our babysitting for sushi and drinks now!